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LIVE REVIEW: Loserpalooza II

September is probably too early to call my favourite gig of the year. But I don’t care how many more of my music idols I see. Nothing will top the second annual Loserpalooza all-day festival in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Aatma and the Peer Hat are usually places of hipster-orientated pretension, but the independent label Society of Losers invited their most magnetic misfits together to curate an unmissable line-up on the 7th September 2019.

Those who grabbed a ticket to the sold-out show placed money exactly where it is needed in the music industry; in the hands of the artists that are essential right now. The revolutionary powers of Punk and alternative music are fairly limited in terms of national impact. But the raucous experiences of escapism which musicians can offer are priceless.  You’re not parting with your money to gawp at musicians as they parade themselves as deities and watch their egos palpably swell. Instead, you get an invitation to share in the riotously friendly disorder which ensues.

While each of the acts contributed something incredible to the festival, special mentions have to go to Salt the Snail, Witch of the East, and the headline act Hands off Gretel.

Salt the Snail

The first time I saw Salt the Snail I had no idea what to expect aside from well-crafted snappy, witty, explosive Punk. The second time around, I thought that maybe I’d be able to anticipate what’s coming. Nope. There are stage antics, then there’s the full-frontal physical experience which is seeing Salt the Snail live.

There’s no hiding from the giant inflatables which are bouncing around or trying to pretend that you’re not endeared. With stunts such as making “the tallest singer in the world” (the vocalist carrying Crapsons’ vocalist on their shoulders as they braved the pit), it’s hard not to appreciate what the band orchestrated in aid of audience amusement.  Even the highest brows would melt under the manically charismatic energy of Salt the Snail’s frontman.

After treating us to their boisterously cathartic tracks, they equipped a good majority of the audience with improv music instruments and led them to the next stage where the cacophony carried on until the next act was ready to start.

It sounds ridiculous. It was. But watching the frenzied effervescence of Salt the Snail, who was also responsible for the event made me pretty sure that if they started a cult, I wouldn’t need much tempting before I joined.

Witch of the East

The fact that Witch of the East attracted a rave review from the editor in chief of Alternative Press shortly after they released their debut album “Queen of Insecurity” in 2019 tells you everything you need to know about the artist.

Aeris Houlihan’s solo project may be fresh from its inception, but her music also provides the freshest brand of hypnotically sexy grunge which has hit your ears in this decade. That may seem like a massive over-exaggeration but listen to “When You Fuck Me” and tell me that I’m wrong, and the darkly salacious tones are equally as potent when you get to hear them live.

To ease us into the set, Aeris played her first track acoustically before taking to her electric guitar connected to a dazzling array of effects pedals.

From transfixingly poised stripped-back aural alchemy to the bewitchingly dark industrial-laced Grunge which the artist has come to be renowned for, Witch of the East’s set proved be one which invoked a myriad of emotions.

I’ll make very few apologies about making the admission that the seductive soundscapes on offer from Witch of the East had the desired effect. You’d have to be dead from the waist down or a liar not to admit that those dexterously played riffs falling into layers of reverb with the hauntedly lascivious vocals weren’t almost pornographic.

Hands off Gretel

Not only does Lauren Tate possess vocals which make you wonder “what if Christina Aguilera had joined Babes in Toyland” she also possesses an incredible unfuckwithable energy that no other woman could witness and not feel empowered by.

Salivating front-row perverts may follow Lauren wherever she goes, but her vocals project far past them and resonate within a crowd which is uplifted by the fearless expression which she pours into each of her tracks.

After the release of their second studio album “I Want the World” I was ridiculously excited to hear the screams which would shatter the larynxes of most people on tracks such as “Milk”, “Kiss Me Girl” and “S.A.S.S” and they definitely didn’t disappoint.

The fourpiece powerhouse possesses a synergy which is rarely heard or seen in underground music, they definitely belong in the mainstream. But for now, people who attend events such as Loserpalooza can revel in the insane talent on display as they blast their unique brand of 90s Grunge/Punk nostalgia through the speakers.

Artist Links

Salt the Snail: Facebook, Bandcamp, Spotify

Witch of the East: Facebook, Spotify

Hands off Gretel: Facebook, Spotify

Society of Losers: Facebook, Bandcamp, Website

You can also check out the Spotify playlist featuring one track of each of the 16 bands who performed. Whatever your musical inclinations you’re sure to find something that will get the dopamine flowing.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Feminist Punks Jigsaw Youth Unleash Angsty Aural Indulgence with “Acidic Child”

With Jigsaw Youth’s latest single “Acidic Child” caustic Punk and swampy Grunge sit hand in hand, allowing two iconic soundscapes to converge in an angsty aural indulgence. The NYC based Feminist powerhouse may have borrowed a few elements from varying genres, but the authenticity behind their invitingly volatile sound definitely isn’t something which you hear every day.

While in parts you’ll pick up on reminiscences of Rage Against the Machine, there’s also the inclusion of Slayer-Esque riffs proving that we’ve come a long way since the Slits picked up guitars they didn’t know how to use and took to a stage anyway.

Each instrument sits tight in the arrangement – which is still perceptible through the fuzz and distortion, while the constantly evolving vocals move through different facets of anger giving Acidic Child an aggressively cathartic feel.

You can check out Jigsaw Youth’s latest single Acidic Child for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

ATR – It’s a Taekwondo Day Morning: Arrestive Existential Punk Chaos

Kick off any track with existential screams and you will immediately have our attention. Follow up the death rattle screams with a Sonic Youth-style arrangement of chaos and you’ve got our undying adoration.

ATR went with the slightly questionable title of “It’s a Taekwondo Day Morning” for their latest single which takes the Punk genre, shatters it into a thousand pieces and arranges it as Picasso would paint a portrait.

So, in short, ATR’s latest single is fairly ingenious. If you thought IDLES revolutionised Punk with their latest album, prepare for the ultimate facelift of angst. But similarly, to IDLES, ATR are using monumental riffs, tight arrangements, and Punk vocals to address plenty of issues which aren’t usually spoken about – especially in the Punk genre. There’s no petulant spite being thrown at parents or versing about just how great getting wasted is. The band was formed after one of the members returned from Iraq, and their music shines a light on the devastation witnessed there. Expect hard hitting stuff.

You can check out ATR’s latest single It’s a Taekwondo Day Morning for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

If You Needed Proof That Punk Isn’t Dead, Check Out Rodeo Death Burger’s Latest Single

With a track like Cuntsville you’re never going to expect a friendly fluffy composition and it’s safe to say that Rodeo Death Burger delivered anything but. Fans of the Oh Sees, IDLES and, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster definitely won’t be disappointed in the cataclysmically relentless single which was recorded in a live session at BBC Maida Vale Studios. After you’ve listened to the explosive instrumental progressions and the sonically captivating vocals which run with little restraint I’m sure you’ll all join me in agreement that Rodeo Death Burger is the up and coming Brighton band to watch. You might also find yourself in agreement that it’s just a little bit sexy.

You can check out Rodeo Death Burger’s latest single Cuntsville for yourselves via SoundCloud and join me in adoration of the band with the ability to keep Punk relevant in the 21st century.

Keep up to date with the glorious concordantly chaotic creatures’ latest releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Yogi Bairlines – Keep on Partying: One for Your Unapologetically Punk Playlist

When the prelude to a track has you bouncing, you know you’ve just stumbled across an absolutely stellar single. It makes the review part quite hard, but the energy behind Yogi Bairlines latest single Keep on Partying is as infectious as it is intoxicating.

The lyrics are exactly what you’d come to expect from a Garage Punk Rock party anthem. Keep on Partying came together as an infusion of Anti Nowhere League and Andrew WK. Yet, what really sold Yogi Bairlines for me was the fact that it was actually tangible that they were having fun whilst the track was recorded. The recording quality may not be the best you’ve ever heard, yet this just amplifies the raw energy that the band have mustered through the heavy instruments and even heavier vocals.

You can check out Yogi Bairlines single from their latest album Cracked Out by heading over to YouTube now.

Keep up to date with the band’s latest releases by following them on Facebook

Review by Amelia Vandergast – who has officially been inspired to grab a beer after listening to that track!

Music

The Tribunes – Can’t Afford to Live Album Review: An Amalgamation of Classical & Contemporary Punk

Finding the words to describe The Tribunes sound is almost like finding the words to describe how awkward it is to watch a Game of Thrones sex scene with your Nan. I’d be willing to put money on the fact that the sound created by The tribunes in their debut 2018 album Can’t Afford to Live is like nothing that has ever been created before. Their album contains a mash up of Classic Punk, Post-Punk, Garage and Indie Rock to create an anthemic vibe. The vocals are highly reminiscent of bands such as Public Image Limited and Magazine, however the rolling instrumentals are straight up Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster mixed with the Stooges.

Instrumentally The Tribunes are as tight as a Punk collective can get, yet I couldn’t help but think that the vocals weren’t the right fit for the flawless sound which was especially evident in the title track to Can’t Afford to Live, instrumentally the bad created a Jangle Pop masterpiece which was dampened by the slightly drawling vocals. Having said that, I can’ remember the last time I stumbled on a band as fun as The Tribunes.

You can check out The Tribunes 2018 album Can’t Afford to Live on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

A Dog Named Bob – Stayin’ Home Tonight: Pioneering Punk Rock

https://youtu.be/B3eAG5JIhfY

When I first listened to Stayin’ Home Tonight, I thought I was in for a peaceful, acoustic, Indie pacifying rendition of melancholy. The latest track by A Dog Named Bob proved to be anything but.

Their debut track is one for the angsty introverts who have seen the light and realised that staying in isn’t all that bad. Stayin’ Home Tonight has a little bit more bite than your average Pop Punk track. The vocals curtesy of Martin Perez hit through the soundwaves as classic punk, yet the up-beat tempo of the track undeniably has its roots in the bouncier, fresher genre of Pop Punk.

Influences on the Toronto based band include Teenage Bottle Rocket & NOFX, yet their sound translates into one that is far more reminiscent of Neck Deep’s earlier music. The bands other tracks such as Last Punk Girl is also one to check out if heavy Punk Rock is your bag!

You can check out the official lyric video to Stayin’ Home Tonight on YouTube now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3eAG5JIhfY

To hear more from A Dog Named Bob, head on over their website where you can treat yourself to some more anarchic sounds, you can grab yourself some merch too!

http://adognamedbob.com/

Review by Amelia Vandergast.

Music

Frantic Endeavor – 2+2: Girls To The Front

2+2 is the standout track from the debut EP by Frantic Endeavor in which the band incorporated a nostalgic sense of Pop Punk Clamour. As you’d expect the track is packed full of tight riffs and resonance along with an infinite offering of flawless drumrolls, to put it simply it’s a masterpiece of percussion fronted by female vocalist Lexie Lacock, who invokes a strong familiarity to singers such as Taylor Swift & Hayley Williams from Paramore. Yet as a whole, the sound that the talented collective of musicians has achieved is something like you’ve never heard before, each of the 6 musicians has a radically unique stance on their sound, the mix allows them to create the ultimate Post-Rock sound.

The Massachusetts based band Frantic Endeavor take their inspiration from acts such as Blind Revision, Among the Cypress & Summer Street to create their spell-binding, Progressive Rock sound.

Check out Frantic Endeavors latest track 2+2 via YouTube using the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMP1wvInZnA

You can also stay up to date with the bands latest releases and tours by following them on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/FranticEndeavor/

Music

Daisy – ‘My Baby’s Blood’ Mind-twisting Lyrics

This song is the first standalone EP from Daisy; it’s also mastered and mixed by Luke Allmond and Daisy. When you first get to listen to this song you’re definitely going to have a lot of thoughts in your mind. You’d sincerely have many reasons as to why you should stay put and wait till you hear the last lyrics that comes off from this song.

While this might be a very slow song, it’s actually at the same time the type of song that will make you think too deep in a bid to unravel the factual meaning in what the singer is trying to say in the song.

There is to some reasonable extent an infusion of the artist’s personal sex, love and relationship tale which he’s had or probably still having with his lover. It’s more like a roleplay kind of relationship, perhaps, because you’ll get to a point where the artist mentioned in one of his music lines that “He is her baby’s baby girl and her baby also is his baby boy at least when she’s bored of her other toys”. It’s even really more of a mind twister when you read just the lyrics.

Yeah, the lyrics are somewhat intricately placed and also it’s also skillfully written. So I challenge you to check out the song and be the judge here.

The soothing vocals, and the melody that emanates from the steady percussion string and other set of musical instruments that strums each moment to keep the slow tempo of this song in unison till the very last minute its play time is also not very hard to be noticed.

Other than the part in the middle of the song where there are a lot of pitfalls in the sound/vocal range of the artist, I think this song is a very nice one. I’d be willing to see other works from this artist so I can understand if he’s intentionally good at writing very deep and mystical lyrics just like he so perfectly did in this song.

-LILIAN-DEBRAH

Music

What Would Tilda Swinton Do – Kill: Reignition of Riot Grrrl Nostalgia

How could you possibly go wrong with a name like that? The collective of anarchistic musicians behind What Would Tilda Swinton Do have created a Punk Rock sound unlike any other.

There’s so many commendable elements to this track, I scarcely know where to start without going full on fangirl over them. Their sound which is ubiquitously, raucously in keeping with the classic 90’s Riot Grrrl sound. It’s the freshest female fronted punk act that I’ve heard since Sleater Kinney & Courtney Barnett. Suzie Léger fronts the bands with an empowered confidence and attitude that makes you fall in love with her and her ambivalent energy. You can’t help but get caught up in the rolling guitar riffs and pure unadulterated. Percussion soaked sound that the talented musicians create.

Their self-proclaimed lazy Punk sound is one that will undoubtedly make waves in the underground NYC scene. Whilst this band are still in their infancy, that doesn’t stop them from creating stand out hits. Such as their latest track Kill. It’s comedic, its genius, it’s simply stunning.

I’m putting it out there that WWTSD are the greatest underground act of 2017, there are no words that can encapsulate their enigmatic essence.

So, head on over to Soundcloud where you can check out their latest single Kill, along with their debut track Bikerbraut which was released at the start of 2017.

https://soundcloud.com/whatwouldtildaswintondo/kill

Head on over to their Facebook page and show them some love too!

https://www.facebook.com/whatwouldtildaswintondo/

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